Cheeky Poké Bar expands to the inner city with new Ulster Lane location
As folks gradually start to trickle back into The City in greater numbers, the inner-city dining scene is starting to build up momentum once more. Arriving just in time to cater to the spike in the local lunch rush is Cheeky Poké Bar, which is opening its brand-new location today, Thursday February 18. Tucked away off Elizabeth Street in the newly revamped Ulster Lane, Cheeky is serving its range of protein-loaded poke bowls, wonton tacos and salivation-worthy snacks via a slick grab-and-go friendly format.
Cheeky Poké Bar’s Sam Demetriou has wanted to break into the Brisbane City market for a while. As he built the Cheeky brand from craze-instigating culinary curiosity into bona fide hospitality star, Sam noticed that many of those that sit within its target market were also city slickers. If you charted the common ground between the time-poor commuter crowd and regular retail therapy practitioners in a venn diagram, you’d probably find a strong mutual love for the kind of simple, speedy and satisfying fare Cheeky Poké makes on the regular. Last year Sam and the Cheeky team opened a new site at Westfield Garden City while simultaneously revealing its long-awaiting expansion to the bustling city surrounds. The newcomer’s home can be found within Ulster Lane, Aria Property Group’s newly redeveloped nook tucked away between Hermes and the Department of Transport and Main Roads building on Elizabeth Street. The site was selected for its hideaway appeal – a space slightly removed yet still close to both Eagle Street’s business centre and Queen Street Mall’s shopping strip. A few pesky pandemic-related delays pushed the opening back a few months, but this gave Sam some extra time to tweak his approach. Initial plans for a large 110-seat location at the laneway’s rear were scrapped in favour of an Archie Bolden-designed outlet that boasted a smaller footprint and, in doing so committed to a service model geared more towards a grab-and-go experience that better suited the area’s needs.
While Cheeky Poké’s laneway premises does boast seating for 35 patrons (tables line the greenery coated alley), the poky interior boasts two salad bars, which means an enhanced production capacity – especially compared to its sibling sites. Despite its diminutive digs, Cheeky Poké is serving its entire range of eats, from its signature poké bowls and tacos (including build-your-own options for both) to its larger share-style plates (sashimi tuna nachos, anyone?) and slurp-worthy soups. The spot is licensed, too, with a tight wine list, clutch of beers and selection of signature gins available for those that need something stiff to accompany their feast – although non-alcoholic sips like kombucha, HRVST ST juices, and batch-brew coffee from Five Senses are also on deck if desired.
Cheeky Poké Ulster Lane is officially open as of today, Thursday February 18. Next week Cheeky Poké will be hosting a celebratory pop-up in Queen Street Mall on February 25–26, giving folks the chance to spin the Cheeky Wheel of Fortune and win $10 poke bowls, $5 tacos and free starters – all of which will be redeemable at the new locale. Seeking opening hours and menu details? Be sure to check out the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.